bike positioning help please

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531colin
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby 531colin » 23 Apr 2013, 11:16am

samsbike wrote:.........

Moving the seat forward, raises it, so you lower the seat and vice versa or have I totally misunderstood you NA?


Other way round. Move the seat back 5mm moves it further from the pedals, equivalent to moving it up all of 1 or 2mm, I guess.

samsbike
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby samsbike » 23 Apr 2013, 1:38pm

Colin

I have been off the bike all winter but the knee ache continues from last year. Its not too bad so I am going to perserve with the stretches etc and see how it goes. Its got to all come together eventually!

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horizon
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby horizon » 23 Apr 2013, 2:40pm

samsbike wrote:
Its got to all come together eventually!


But not necessarily in the way you think! The perfect fit, IMV but as others have hinted, comes from using the bike frequently and gently, making some adjustments to try things out and then finally making those changes permanent. I've scanned your posts briefly but I haven't discovered answers to:

1. How long have you been cycling
2. What sort of bike did you ride before your present one
3. How long have you had your knee trouble
4. What set up you used to have
5. How often you use the bike (not how many miles you do)
6. What gears you are using on which hills

I am not asking you to provide answers, I'm just saying that a comfortable fit comes from adapting yourself steadily to the bike as well as adapting the bike to you. I would say keep off high gears, walk up hills for now, keep your mileages low but your trips frequent. If you already have a target (e.g. getting to work in a specific time up certain hills etc), that may put too great a strain on your knee. You might find that all this measuring is a waste of time - there is no perfect fit while you are still getting used to things. (In the end, you might just find that the bike isn't right for you and you need a bigger one but there is quite a way to go.)

Finally I would say don't get diverted by other issues (e.g. brakes): the best bike in the world is the one you are most comfortable on - get that right first because the most technically advanced bike is next to useless if you cannot ride it.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby Vorpal » 23 Apr 2013, 5:04pm

samsbike wrote:Colin

I have been off the bike all winter but the knee ache continues from last year. Its not too bad so I am going to perserve with the stretches etc and see how it goes. Its got to all come together eventually!


If I had continuing knee pain, I would ask a professional; preferably a physio familiar with cycling and bike fit.
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samsbike
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby samsbike » 23 Apr 2013, 8:09pm

I have been struggling with fit for a year.

I only started commuting last year about 2 days a week covering around 17 miles each way.

The knee ache started with spds so it may have been down to cleat fitting.

I did go for a physio but he could not find anything amiss or mis aligned.

Last year I spent all the time on the high gears. This year for some strange reason I have been using the higher gears and when the seat was way forward I found no aches but could push bigger gears.

I am trying not to measure my pace but just enjoy the ride. The problem is I like going fast, I can't seem to go slow.

I am going to keep with the stretching which helps and I need to do more anyway. But I must confess when it all comes together and the bike is flying its just exhilarating.

cycle tramp
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby cycle tramp » 23 Apr 2013, 9:31pm

samsbike wrote:
Oddly I thought I was at KOPs but given my fabricated plumbline I am not. This position seems to work better than when I had the seat backward more. I can pedel using higher gears and am generally avoiding the amount of knee ache I had last year. Famous last words and all that the right one does have a bit of a twinge.


KOPs? Knee above pedal spindle?... is that still being used? At the risk of muddying these waters or at least taking this thread in a totally new direction, i thought that the recumbent cycle riders had shown this theory to be irrelvant (as none of them had their knees above the pedal spindle) i'm pretty damn sure i never had my knee above the pedal spindle when i borrowed my brother's Peer Gynt, but that didn't stop it from being one of the most comfortable... er moving deckchairs that i've ever ridden.. even now, on my up right, i've never worried about having my knee above the spindle.. if it feels right, then its right.. and if it feels wrong then then keep investigating..

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531colin
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby 531colin » 24 Apr 2013, 8:44am

Nobody is pretending KOPS is a magic bullet that will instantly transform the OPs riding experience....are they?....or that there is some wonderful theory behind it?
Its just a rule of thumb that generations of cyclists have found to be a useful starting place.
OP is struggling, on his own, to get comfortable on a bike somebody has sold him, the bike looks to me to be at least one size too small.....how is it helpful to rubbish KOPS and put nothing in its place?
If the OP had any faith in the shop where he bought it, he would be asking them, not us.
If he rode with the local CTC section with hundreds of years of herd experience, he could ask them.
If neither of those options are open, he can use a bit of string with a nut tied to the end.....or just guess.

How is the riding position on a recumbent significant when setting up an upwrong?
For a touring cyclist, where you put the saddle has a lot to do with weight distribution between hands, feet, and backside ....its not like sitting in a deckchair.

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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby Vorpal » 24 Apr 2013, 9:03am

samsbike wrote:I have been struggling with fit for a year.

I only started commuting last year about 2 days a week covering around 17 miles each way.

The knee ache started with spds so it may have been down to cleat fitting.


You aren't the only person to report knee problems with cleats. IMO, cleats, knee problems, and poor position are a bad mix. I would switch to flat pedals or half (strapless) toe clips, at least until you get the position sorted out.

Also, it would be better to build up gradually, by riding 10 miles, then 15, etc. 34 miles in one day is alot if your body isn't used to it.

samsbike wrote:I did go for a physio but he could not find anything amiss or mis aligned.
I didn't mean just to check that everything is okay, but also to help you find the optimum position on the bike and help you understand what aspects of your trouble are fitness and adaptation, rather than set-up.

samsbike wrote:Last year I spent all the time on the high gears. This year for some strange reason I have been using the higher gears and when the seat was way forward I found no aches but could push bigger gears.

I am trying not to measure my pace but just enjoy the ride. The problem is I like going fast, I can't seem to go slow.

You don't have to go any slower, but try going down a couple of gears for most things. Your knees will thank you

samsbike wrote:I am going to keep with the stretching which helps and I need to do more anyway. But I must confess when it all comes together and the bike is flying its just exhilarating.


That's what it's all about. :D
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― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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horizon
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby horizon » 24 Apr 2013, 9:54am

vorpal: you beat me to it and your reply is more comprehnesic ev than mine would have been.

But to answer colin531's point: I also felt (like cycle tramp) that KOPS might come later and that in effect (and sorry samsbike) the OP might have led a lot of people up the wrong garden path by not giving out that information about his cleats, gears and mileage sooner.
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niggle
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby niggle » 24 Apr 2013, 12:39pm

Is the OP's bike a Genesis Equilibrium? The frame sizes are definitely 'virtual seat tube': I have a 52cm Genesis Equilibrium frame and the actual seat tube is 49cm. I am 5'6", the OPs frame is only 4cm bigger than mine but he is 5" taller than me. My frame is definitely not too big for me, my stem is 90mm and I have about 5" of seat post showing. There are two more Equilibrium frame sizes up from what the OP has, i.e. 58cm and 60cm.

http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/fra ... quilibrium

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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby samsbike » 24 Apr 2013, 1:43pm

Just to answer a few questions. My key concern was the shoulder ache which has persisted since I.started riding. Despite the winter break I had managed to.commute most of last year till December.

I started going with higher stems as the shorter stem did not work.

As mentioned before I was so paranoid about sizing I went to 2 shops and emailed Genesis. The thing I dont understand is that if I go 2 sizes up won't the reach be too long? Also the head tubes increase by 1 cm per size.

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horizon
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby horizon » 24 Apr 2013, 1:53pm

Most modern bikes are flexible enough in sizing IMV to allow for a size wrong in either direction. But you then have to be prepared to adjust with stems and seatposts. My guess is that, like most people, you may have found the drop bars too far forward. You can bring them up and back with right stem. It makes your riding position comfier but less powerful. Shoulder aches can be caused by too much stretch but they are also cured by exercise and practice - you get used to the position. Or you can change the stem. Or a combination of both. I personally wouldn't recommend trying to maintain an uncomfortable position in winter though. All is solvable but there is IMV no magic correct formula - you just need to adjust the bike and adapt your body until it works.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

samsbike
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby samsbike » 24 Apr 2013, 2:14pm

I think I am beginning to understand that. I was naively assuming that I could just get on and ride like when I was much younger. I do.now do specific core exercises and trapezius muscle stretches which have helped. At least the shoulder ache goes away in a day. Also it was odd that yesterday the ache was less coming home riding into the wind and trying to use the drops. I am going to move the seat another 5mm back just to see the effect.

Also to add that I am extremely grateful for everyones contribution to my problem as is has all helped. It's just feels like such a long journey.

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531colin
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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby 531colin » 24 Apr 2013, 4:38pm

horizon wrote:............

But to answer colin531's point: I also felt (like cycle tramp) that KOPS might come later..................


OK...if KOPS comes later, that means either there is something more important than getting the saddle set right in relationship to the pedals, or there is a better way of doing it....could you share your thoughts with us?

I'm not saying that KOPS is a magic bullet, but I don't see any point in knocking KOPS if you are not going to replace it with something better.

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Re: bike positioning help please

Postby 531colin » 24 Apr 2013, 4:45pm

samsbike wrote:..........

As mentioned before I was so paranoid about sizing I went to 2 shops and emailed Genesis. The thing I dont understand is that if I go 2 sizes up won't the reach be too long? Also the head tubes increase by 1 cm per size.


2 sizes bigger (60cm Equilibrium....http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/road/equilibrium/equilibrium-20) would give 20mm taller head tube and 20mm longer top tube.......you can easily lose 20mm off that stem